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Chase Freedom Unlimited® review: Versatility and value for everyday spenders

From generous rewards to flexible redemption options, this card offers great value for no annual fee

 /  15 min
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Bankrate rating
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Bottom line

An all-time favorite, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great card for just about anyone because it comes with solid cash back rates without tons of fees or strings attached. Plus, the card’s revamped rewards, including boosted cash back during your first year, give cardholders more bang for their buck.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Bankrate score
Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Recommended Credit

Intro offer


1.5% - 5%

Rewards rate


Annual fee

Regular APR

Chase Freedom Unlimited® overview

The Chase Freedom Unlimited has long been a favorite among fans of cash back credit cards. The card’s rewards program can be highly rewarding for cardholders who take advantage of the Chase Travel℠ portal, use Lyft and make frequent dining and drugstore purchases. The card’s higher rewards rate on general purchases and valuable perks mean that travelers and cash back enthusiasts can find a lot to love.

Although it offers a solid cash back rate, you’ll get the most value for your rewards when you pair the Freedom Unlimited with a higher-tier Chase travel credit card.

  • Credit Card Reviews


    • 5 percent cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2025)
    • 5 percent cash back on travel booked through Chase Travel
    • 3 percent cash back on dining at restaurants 
    • 3 percent cash back on drugstore purchases
    • 1.5 percent cash back on all other purchases

    Expert Appraisal: Exceptional
    See our expert analysis

  • Rewards

    Welcome offer

    • Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Card Apr

    0% intro APR offer

    • Regular APR: 20.49 percent to 29.24 percent (variable)
    • Purchase intro APR: 0 percent for 15 months
    • Balance transfer intro APR: 0 percent for 15 months
    • Intro balance transfer fee: $5 or 3 percent of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days. After that, $5 or 5% (whichever is greater).

    Expert Appraisal: Good
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Card Search

    Rates and fees

    • Annual Fee: $0
    • Late payment: $40
    • Return payment: $40
    • Foreign transaction fee: 3 percent

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

  • Congrats

    Other cardholder perks

    • Complimentary DashPass subscription
    • Purchase protection and extended warranty coverage
    • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance 

    Expert Appraisal: Good
    See our expert analysis

Chase Freedom Unlimited pros and cons


  • Checkmark

    The card’s elevated flat cash back rate combined with boosted rates in key purchasing categories makes it a top-earning cash back card.

  • Checkmark

    Intro APR offers make this a solid choice for people who want to transfer card debt or who have big purchases coming up.

  • Checkmark

    For a no-annual-fee card, it has great benefits, including travel cancellation/interruption insurance and complimentary DoorDash DashPass.


  • Though generous, the card’s regular 1.5 percent flat cash back rate on general purchases is lower than what you can find on other flat-rate cards.

  • Some cash back and rewards cards offer longer intro APR offer periods.

  • Unlike other top rewards cards, you could get hit with a penalty APR if you make a late payment, which could last indefinitely.

Why you might want the Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is an all-around excellent card that has much to offer cardholders. 

Rewards rate: Boosted cash back rate in everyday categories

The Chase Freedom Unlimited stands out as one of the most valuable no-annual-fee cash back cards on the market, and it especially shines for its elevated rewards rates in popular categories. For example, few cards offer 3 percent back at drugstores, which can be a key spending category for many people. Though plenty of cards offer 3 percent cash back on dining, the Freedom Unlimited includes eligible takeout and delivery purchases in this category, while others may not.

For people who frequently use car services, the 5 percent rewards rate on Lyft purchases (through March 2025) adds value. The 5 percent cash back on all travel purchased via the Chase Travel portal is a positive, too, though frequent travelers would benefit more from a travel-focused card. These bonus categories are in addition to the unlimited 1.5 percent cash back the card earns on all other purchases. Notably, it earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which can be redeemed for cash back at a 1:1 rate.

The combination of a solid cash back rate and bonus cash back rates in multiple categories places the Freedom Unlimited as one of the best no-annual-fee credit cards, especially if you only want to carry one card in your wallet.

Rewards program: Flexible and potentially powerful

The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers various redemption choices. You can redeem your cash back in the form of a statement credit, direct deposit, travel, gift cards or to shop online at Like many other credit cards, you can also redeem your rewards for charitable contributions (which currently have a 25 percent boost in value).

Importantly, you can also combine your rewards with a premium Ultimate Rewards card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card to enjoy additional flexibility, such as the ability to transfer your rewards to one of Chase’s transfer partners at a 1:1 ratio. This feature makes the Chase Freedom Unlimited a crucial part of the popular and valuable Chase Trifecta, a three-Chase-card earning strategy that allows you to maximize Ultimate Rewards.

Welcome offer: Unique cash back rate boost

The Freedom Unlimited card's latest welcome offer is a nice step up from its "business as usual" offer, giving you a chance at up to $300 in cash back (1.5% on everything you buy, on up to $20,000 spent in the first year)  — a $100 boost to the card's typical offer of just $200 after spending $500 in your first three months.

Instead of earning a lump sum of bonus cash back after you meet a set spending requirement, you'll enjoy an extra 1.5 percent back on everything you buy. That means you'll earn 6.5 percent back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5 percent back on dining and drugstores and 3 percent back on all other purchases. This boosted rate applies to your first $20,000 in spending in your first year. After you meet that threshold, the rate drops back down to normal. 

A 3 percent cash back rate is almost as good as it gets for general purchases, and 6.5 percent back on Chase Travel can offer huge savings if you have a trip on the horizon. This offer makes now a terrific time to apply for the Freedom Unlimited card if you've been on the fence — it not only improves on the card's typical offer, but beats out nearly every other no-annual-fee cash back card bonus on the market.

The only downside is that in order to earn the full bonus, you'll need to spend $20,000 in your first year, which is tougher to meet than $500 in your first three months.

Cardholder perks: Generous for a card with no annual fee

You won’t find tons of perks on the Chase Freedom Unlimited as you’d find on a travel or luxury card. However, the card does offer a few handy benefits you wouldn’t normally see on a no-annual-fee credit card.

Chief among these perks is a complimentary subscription to DashPass, DoorDash’s membership service, after you enroll. DashPass gets you unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee on orders over $12. The Freedom Unlimited comes with three months of free DashPass membership, after which — if you don’t cancel beforehand — you’re automatically enrolled in DashPass for 50 percent off the monthly rate (typically $9.99 per month) for the next nine months. Only eligible for those who activated the offer by Dec. 31, 2024.

The card also offers some perks designed to help save and protect your money, such as purchase protection and extended warranty protection. If something you bought with the card is damaged or stolen within 120 days of your purchase, the Freedom Unlimited covers the cost, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account. Plus, eligible U.S. manufacturers’ warranties of three years or less on items you purchase with the card are extended by a year.

Finally, the card also comes with trip cancellation and interruption insurance. These are prized perks when travel looks uncertain, and you typically only find this level of coverage with travel cards that charge a hefty annual fee. If your trip is canceled or cut short due to sickness, severe weather or other covered circumstances, you can be reimbursed up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip for prepaid tickets and non-refundable passenger fares.

Intro APR: Save on purchases and balance transfers 

On top of a strong rewards program, the Chase Freedom Unlimited also comes with an intro APR on purchases and balance transfers. You don’t often see an intro APR on a rewards card — let alone an intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers. This gives the Chase Freedom Unlimited added flexibility and makes the card a good fit if you want to pay for a large purchase over time while minimizing interest charges.  

Keep in mind, that a few rewards cards offer slightly longer intro APR offers. If this feature is important to you, be sure to shop around.

Why you might want a different cash back card

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a superb do-it-all card that can easily fit into most wallets. However, consider a few of its downsides before taking the plunge.

Maximizing rewards: It can get complicated

While earning rewards on the Chase Freedom Unlimited is straightforward — there’s no activation required or rotating categories to worry about — maximizing those rewards is another story. If you want to squeeze more value out of your earned rewards than the standard 1:1 cash back rate, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the Chase Travel portal. This is where you can redeem your earned points as well as access the Chase Offers program, which can help you earn more points on eligible retailers. 

If you truly want to get the maximum value for your Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you need to add one of Chase’s premium cards — the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve — to your wallet. These cards let you redeem earned points on travel through the Chase portal with a 25 percent or 50 percent bonus, respectively. These cards also allow you to transfer points to eligible travel partners, which may double your point value. This requires a bit of extra leg work and research, which may not suit your reward preferences if you want a straightforward cash back strategy.

Rates and fees: Nothing unexpected

The Chase Freedom Unlimited falls in line with what you’d expect from a no-annual-fee rewards card. While it doesn’t have hidden or surprise fees, the card also isn’t doing you any favors in this area. 

The card charges a 3 percent foreign transaction fee, which will cut into your cash back earnings if you use it abroad. Finally, Chase charges the greater of $5 or 3 percent of the amount you balance transfer, which could end up as a sizable sum depending on how much you transfer. 

The card’s interest rate ranges from slightly lower than the current average to around 30 percent. Its APR isn’t out-of-this-world, but you could get some hefty charges if you carry a balance after the intro period.

First-year card value vs. ongoing value

Although the Chase Freedom Unlimited doesn’t come with as many valuable perks or credits as Chase’s premium cards, its bonus categories still provide considerable value after the first year. The Freedom Unlimited can rake in more rewards than flat-rate cash back cards. By our estimates, an average spender could collect about $325 in a typical year with the Freedom Unlimited.

Benefits and Costs First-year value Ongoing value (no welcome offers)
Yearly rewards* +$325 +$325
Welcome offers +up to $300 (elevated cash back rate with $20,000 in spending in your first yaer) N/A
Perks (of monetary value) +$74.92 (DoorDash DashPass offer) N/A
Annual fee -$0 -$0
Total value $699.92 $325

*Based on the average cardholder’s estimated $15,900 yearly spend, with consideration for expenditures in the card’s key rewards categories of travel ($1,300), dining ($2,100), drugstores ($600) and all other purchases ($11,900).

We tried it: Here’s what our experts say

Bankrate credit cards editor Steve Dashiell added the Chase Freedom Unlimited to his wallet to complete the Chase Trifecta:

“By the time I was eyeing the Chase Freedom Unlimited, I was already familiar with the Chase Ultimate Rewards ecosystem. The Chase Freedom Flex (simply called the Chase Freedom back then) was the first credit card I opened after salvaging my credit score, followed shortly by the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

The ability to transfer points earned on the Freedom cards to the Sapphire cards is indispensable, though I knew I wasn’t truly maximizing my reward earnings with just two cards. The Chase Freedom Unlimited was the final piece I needed to create my rewards engine. 

Now I follow the textbook example of credit card reward spending: I only use the Chase Freedom Flex for purchases on its rotating categories, the Reserve for its redemption value and boosted rates on travel and dining, and the Freedom Unlimited for its solid flat cash back rate on all other purchases. The rewards on these cards have covered numerous travel flights for my family in the past few years and I’d be hard-pressed to choose any other combination.”

— Steve Dashiell, Editor, Bankrate

How the Chase Freedom Unlimited compares to other cash back cards

A lot of cash back credit cards are available, and most of them don’t charge an annual fee. However, some cards stand out because of the benefits they offer or for their lucrative sign-up bonuses.

Image of Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Bankrate Score
Apply now Lock
on Chase's secure site

Annual fee


Intro offer

Up to $300 cash back

Rewards rate

1.5% - 5%

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Image of Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on American Express's secure site

Annual fee

$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Intro offer

Earn $250

Rewards rate

1% - 6%

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
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Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on Citi's secure site

Annual fee


Intro offer

$200 cash back

Rewards rate

1% - 5%

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)

Best cards to pair with the Chase Freedom Unlimited

While the Chase Freedom Unlimited pairs nicely with various rewards cards, you have two cards to consider when creating the best combination. When combined, you’ll complete the Chase Trifecta.

Just watch out for Chase’s 5/24 rule. If you’ve opened five or more cards in the past 24 months, you won’t be eligible to open a Chase credit card.

Who is the Chase Freedom Unlimited right for?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited has plenty to offer for several types of cardholders but shines as part of the Chase trifecta and for people looking for maximum rewards value.  

Bankrate’s Take — Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited worth it?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited could be an exceptional deal for anyone who spends in its top categories, wants a rewards card with an intro APR or plans to expand into the Chase Trifecta in the future. It’s hard to beat the card’s ongoing rewards, particularly given that most cards that offer bonus cash back in specific spending categories offer just 1 percent back on general purchases.

With plenty of options for redeeming your rewards, an intro APR and the opportunity for even bigger value, the Freedom Unlimited positions itself as a great all-around card.

How we rated this card

cards rated
rewards programs valued
data points analyzed
Credit Card Reviews
perks evaluated

We rate credit cards using a proprietary card scoring system that ranks each card’s estimated average rewards rate, estimated annual earnings, welcome bonus value, APR, fees, perks and more against those of other cards in its primary category.

Each card feature is assigned a weighting based on how important it is to people looking for a card in a given category. These features are then scored based on how they rank relative to the features on other cards in the category. Based on these calculations, each card receives an overall rating of 1-5 stars (with 5 being the highest possible score and 1 being the lowest). 

We analyzed over 150 of the most popular rewards and cash back cards to determine where each stacked up based on their value, cost, benefits and more. Here are some of the key factors that influenced this card’s overall score and how the score influenced our review:

Frequently asked questions

Written by
Steve Dashiell
Editor, Credit cards

Steven Dashiell is an editor for Bankrate and with expertise in rewards credit cards, financial literacy, and helping consumers build and maintain their credit.

Edited by Senior Editor, Credit Cards
Reviewed by Former Editor, credit cards

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.